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Read Joshua 12

List of Defeated Kings

1 These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon,including all the eastern side of the Arabah:

Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.

He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge—from the middle of the gorge—to the Jabbok River ,which is the border of the Ammonites. This included half of Gilead. He also ruled over the eastern Arabah from the Sea of Galileea] to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), to Beth Jeshimoth,and then southward below the slopes of Pisgah.

And the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaites, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei.

He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salekah, all of Bashanto the border of the people of Geshur and Maakah,and half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the Israelites conquered them. And Moses the servant of the Lord gave their land to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh to be their possession.

Here is a list of the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir. Joshua gave their lands as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel according to their tribal divisions. The lands included the hill country, the western foothills, the Arabah, the mountain slopes, the wilderness and the Negev. These were the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. These were the kings:


the king of Jericho one the king of Ai (near Bethel) one


the king of Jerusalem one the king of Hebron one


the king of Jarmuth one the king of Lachish one


the king of Eglon one the king of Gezer one


the king of Debir one the king of Geder one


the king of Hormah one the king of Arad one


the king of Libnah one the king of Adullam one


the king of Makkedah one the king of Bethel one


the king of Tappuah one the king of Hepher one


the king of Aphek one the king of Lasharon one


the king of Madon one the king of Hazor one


the king of Shimron Meron one the king of Acshaph one


the king of Taanach one the king of Megiddo one


the king of Kedesh one the king of Jokneam in Carmel one


the king of Dor (in Naphoth Dor) one the king of Goyim in Gilgal one


the king of Tirzah one thirty-one kings in all.

Go Deeper

This chapter is far less exciting to read than it would have been to experience. This passage describes the many different kings that were defeated by the armies of Moses and Joshua. While these kings are just names on a page now, each one of them represents a battle that God won for the people of Israel. In all of these instances, the Israelites were forced to fight against someone who “owned” the land. These kings were the ultimate authority over the cities in which they ruled. The Isrealites had no chance against these armies! And yet, each time God won the battle for them. It’s a reminder of how Daniel describes God in Daniel 2:20-21, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.” 

While we don’t know all the details behind each of these kings, we do know what comes with holding that title. These leaders were no doubt confident in their position, arrogant in their power, and settled in their place. These kings were well established and no one could remove them…but God. 

This chapter should be a reminder to you that God can change your life in an instant. That sin that has taken hold of your heart for years can be removed. That relationship you thought was dead can be restored. God is not scared off by kings, let alone the problems that you are dealing with today. Joshua 12 served as a reminder to the Israelites that what God did before, He could do again. Maybe today you need to make your own list of the giants that God has defeated in your life. What has he saved you from in the past? Let that list be a reminder that there’s nothing God can’t do for you in the days ahead.


  1. Why do you think this chapter was included in the Bible?
  2. Why didn’t God just give the Israelites unoccupied land?
  3. What are some established things in your life that you want to remove or change?

Did You Know?

The list of kings given in Joshua 12 serve as an important reminder to us that what we are reading is history. They are not fictional characters in a made-up land. These are real names, real places, and real time periods and God was at work in their midst. 

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2 thoughts on “Joshua 12”

  1. The author of Joshua seems to press pause to reflect on the victories given the Israelites, as their obedience has been rewarded by their ever faithful God. We should do the same, recalling & reflecting in reverence the wonders God performs daily in our lives. How often we cheat ourselves when we forget all his benefits. When times are hard it’s especially necessary to do this, to press in with gratefulness and renew & recalibrate our minds, remembering that obedience precedes the victory. I’m thankful for a brand new day and opportunities to be his witness in a world that desperately needs hope.

  2. There are things that I had to completely destroy in my life when I became a Christian. Leave no survivors so to speak. In the New Testament Jesus talked about cutting off that which causes you to sin. I could make a list like the list of the kings of things that held territory in my life that had to go so Jesus could take over that area. It is the only way to experience the promised land. It’s a battle and hard work. But He fights for us. We need to armor up and get to it. God is so Faithful!

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